What Is Work Management? Creating a Work Management System

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PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Project managers spend a lot of time planning how work will be executed. Doing a feasibility study, planning for its success, scheduling tasks, organizing resources and building a budget are all important.

Then comes the execution phase, and then, much of a project manager’s attention is focused on work-related project management areas such as task, resource, and time management. Project managers need to build a work management system to keep an eye on all these aspects at the same time.

Getting the most out of your team, making sure they have the necessary work management tools to match their capacity at a specific point in the project is key to maximizing productivity. To create that optimum workflow structure requires a work management system.

What Is Work Management?

Work management can be defined as the use of management tools and techniques to manage time, resources, teams and tasks. The main goal of work management is to improve productivity in business processes or projects.

Work management is key to controlling the project scope and avoiding resource, time or task management issues. Either way, the purpose of using work management tools and techniques is to streamline these processes to better schedule project tasks, meet the expectations of stakeholders, manage resources and evaluate performance to further improve productivity.

A screenshot of ProjectManager's kanban board, showing a task moving from column to columnA screenshot of ProjectManager's kanban board, showing a task moving from column to column
Manage work online with your team with the best work management software on the market.—Try it free!

Work Management vs. Project Management

Work management and project management are not exactly the same thing but teams can benefit from both. Both are methods to manage teams, time and work and both can be used in business. However, the main difference between them is that work management focuses on managing the project scope while project management is a much broader discipline. They can both use collaborative tools to assist team members, and apply work management software, work management tools and project management software.

A project manager is concerned with both and uses business intelligence to better deal with real-time project tasks and project work. A work management system is part of project management tools, which includes file storage and acts as a central hub for project teams and their work. Therefore, work management and project management work hand-in-glove to provide the tools project managers require to better manage their projects.

The Work Management Process

The work management process starts with identifying the project scope, planning, scheduling, and then executing the work. But it doesn’t end there: follow-up is important. Use project status reports and work management tools to figure out what’s helping and what isn’t.
Work management is about taking many of the different parts of managing a project as they relate to the team and integrating them into a work management system that boosts productivity. Therefore, work management touches many aspects of project management.

  • Identify: To manage work, you first have to define how, when and in what way that work is done. Be thorough and accurate. When managing projects, you can use a work breakdown structure to visualize every task in your project scope.
  • Plan: Now comes the time to plan what work must be done. As said before, a work breakdown structure will help you make a time estimation of how long that work will take and the resources involved.
  • Schedule: You have the work planned out and a timeline, now you have to create a work schedule, whether daily or weekly, to define workflow and responsibilities.
  • Document: Always make a paper trail of the work management process to capture anything learned and the communications involved throughout.
  • Analyze: Finally, use the experience and documentation to refine your processes. Work management is a continuously improving system.

What Is a Work Management System?

A work management system is a set of management tools and techniques that are employed to manage teams, tasks, resources and time. Most work management systems today rely on work management software because it gives organizations collaborative tools and project management features to control and optimize the productivity of their teams. These are some of the key features that you’ll need from work management software.

  • Project views such as Gantt charts and project calendars to visualize project timelines and schedules
  • Real-time team collaboration tools such as message boards and unlimited file storage
  • Task management, time management and resource management features
  • Timesheets and workload management tools
  • Integrations with other project or business management software

The elements of a work management system read like the features of a powerful project management tool. They incorporate resource management, team collaboration, time and task management, budgeting, reporting and more. In a sense, work management is the hub around which all these spokes turn. If you set it up correctly, you’ll get more out of your project teams.

How Work Management Software Helps You Manage Work

ProjectManager is an award-winning project management tool that organizes work to streamline processes and boost productivity. It is packed with the key work management features you need to elevate your project and team to higher levels of efficiency, such as:

  • Work Management
  • Resource Management
  • Time Management
  • Collaboration tools

Plan your projects collaboratively with our online Gantt chart. Everyone can be part of the work management process and once you collect all the tasks needed to reach your final deliverable, just add the duration and they populate a project timeline.

A screenshot of a Gantt chart in ProjectManager, great for work managementA screenshot of a Gantt chart in ProjectManager, great for work management

Further, control workflow by breaking the larger project plan into smaller phases. Our work management tools allow you to customize colors and views to differentiate the project phases and then add milestones that indicate when one phase ends and another begins.

Any tasks that are dependent on another task to start or finish can be linked, so there are no bottlenecks slowing down work later in the project. Because our software is cloud-based as changes occur, just drag and drop the task to the new date and every related task is instantly updated.

Instant Updates to Keep Work Moving

Team members get notified of any changes to the project plan instantly by email or in-app alerts. Cloud-based file storage and real-time collaboration tools allow managers to add direction and attach documents and images directly to the task when assigning and teams can comment no matter where they are or when they’re working. Everyone is on the same page working together with a work management software.

A screenshot of ProjectManager's in-app notifications, which provides updates to your workA screenshot of ProjectManager's in-app notifications, which provides updates to your work

Balance Workloads

Managers don’t want to get in the way of their teams, but also need a work management software to have transparency in their work. The team management page lists everyone, their tasks and the percent complete they share. Use the workload page to see if anyone is not performing because they’re overallocated. Then reallocate to free them up.

A screenshot of ProjectManager's workload page, which helps managers balance workA screenshot of ProjectManager's workload page, which helps managers balance work

Track Progress with Dashboards

Finally, get a high-level view of the project with a real-time dashboard that automatically tracks six project metrics, doing the task, resource and time management calculations for you and then displaying the results in colorful graphs and charts. For greater detail use one-click reporting tools to see costs, overall health and project variance.

ProjectManager is a cloud-based project management software packed with work management tools to help managers and teams work more productively. From planning to monitoring and reporting on progress, you control every aspect of your work throughout the project life cycle. See why it’s the preferred tool of tens of thousands of project teams and take our free 30-day trial today.

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